« Bay Area Kombucha | Main | Interview with Dr. David Jubb (Life Food) »

Are raw bars all that healthy?


When I first started my raw food journey about 5 months ago, I made sure to spend time learning new recipes. I bought a few books and would attempt new recipes almost on a daily basis. My taste buds were excited and I was enjoying the ride. Through the process I also learned about the plethora of delicious raw food snacks that are out there, (see my bedroom's garbage can above). What a convenience it was to get all the benefits of raw food through an already prepared raw bar. Looking at the nutritional information I could see that it contained many of the healthiest raw ingredients.

I've never really gotten into cooking/preparing food, probably because I've always lived at home with my family and had my mother make me food whenever I was hungry. I also have a busy schedule balancing work, non-profits, sports, and social activities, (although that's no excuse). Still, wanting to experience the healthiest lifestyle, I've become quite lazy and have shy-ed away from making as many fresh items throughout my day. Yes, I do usually make one simple kale salad, but I hardly juice anymore and hardly experiment with new dishes. Whenever I get hungry, a raw bar is never too far away.

I usually can tell how healthy I am by looking at the skin on my face, and I'm beginning to realize that maybe eating all these raw bars isn't so healthy after all. Sure, they are much better than any cooked food or traditional bar, but in the end, they still are a snack.

I think a lot of people think that if package says "raw", it mean that they can thrive off of the contents within, (I know I did). But as Dr. David Jubb likes to remind us, "Raw food doesn't necessarily mean LIFE food."

Hallelujah! I'm going back to the kitchen!



Eagle Eye

When assessing a product that is supposed to bring you health, it is quite important to remember that someone behind that product is running a business. In the common raw bar business you have 3 figures to take care of. Far more often then not, the way that raw bar businesses address these areas is in less than integrity, regardless of the founding vision.

1. Low cost of ingredients while meeting the market standards for perceived quality. This can sometimes mean adding a tiny amount of a "superfood" to catch your eye. Or something trendy like agave nectar.

2. Marketing, which includes package design, theme concepts/identity, and within-reach availabilty at many stores to make it a cultural institution.

3. A product which creates a craving for another one, a habit building, or personal identity supporting substance.

With almost all raw bars, points 1 and 3 are taken care of very easily by:
Dates (or other cheap dried fruit), Bananas, Carrots, and Dessicated Coconut, and pseudo-live nuts/seeds. (simply read the labels)

For these reasons: Those ingredients are cheap, come in steady supply, spike your blood sugar (giving an experience of "energy" and satisfaction), and give that sensation of dense soothingness that nuts can do. Those bars become a quick (but short and complicating) fix, and are designed to become habit forming.

Point 2 is obvious, and we know clearly by now that hype, appeal, testimonials and savvy does not mean quality. Even typing *love* into the ingredient list means little in reality, unless you really feel it. There is love behind countless human enterprises that boast none. Keep your antennae alert friends, as you enter deeper into the consumer end of the multi-billion dollar health food industry. And if you wish to get into the supplier end, be exceptional, provide food as medicine, and be honest and direct about it.

There are by the way, other habits you can form to manage your energy. For instance next time you feel like you "need" a "raw bar" try this.
Pause, Stand up straight and open and let your energy flow through you for even a moment, notice its presence whatever this means. breathe deep, notice where you may have a contraction in your mind or body which you are trying to solve with a "bar", and give that exact place some loving relaxed attention for a few moments. its quite amazing... From this space then, one can make an intelligent non-drug choice for nourishment, or decide to have a raw bar anyways for the fun of it. You can also make something in batches at home which meets all your requirements.

You can even take the inspiration by the reigns and design an honest, integral, truly healthy and easily accessed nourishment for on-the-go living. There is much evolution in the works, and many who work everyday on it. Maybe you can repackage an old classic such as "the organic fruit" or "the organic nut". Not interesting enough? Maybe stamp the word *love* on it. But this is an obvious ingredient, yes?


Well wishes.

Post a comment